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Never underestimate the experts’ ability to get things wrong

Seth Roberts has read three new books about
how emperors are often more naked than people tell them they are.
I’ve read two of those books and had much the same reaction. The
trust-the-experts inertia of the financial markets described by
Michael Lewis in The Big Short is much like that in the climate
debate described by Andrew Montford in The Hockey Stick Illusion.
Roberts’s third book is about Bernie Madoff.

I call these books The Emperor’s New
Clothes Trilogy. Their broad lesson:Sometimes the “best
people” aren’t right. Sometimes there’s a point of view from which
they’re glaringly wrong
. The Hockey Stick Illusion is
about how Stephen McIntyre found this point of view. In No One
Would Listen Markopolos found this point of view. In The Big Short
several people found this point of view.

In Monty Python’s immortal words:

Brian: “you’ve all got to work it out for yourselves”

Crowd: “yes, we’ve all got to work it out for ourselves.”



By Matt Ridley | Tagged:  rational-optimist